Coming Out Swinging: Mike Ness of Social Distortion Reflects On The Fight of His Life with Cancer

Coming Out Swinging: Mike Ness of Social Distortion Reflects On The Fight of His Life with Cancer

- By Ramon Gonzales

Guesting with Matt Pinfield on New & Approved, the punk vet detailed his arduous tonsil cancer treatment, the work it took to come back from the brink and how grateful he is to be planning a tour with fellow legends, Bad Religion.

Photo by Danny Clinch

Earlier this month, punk pillars Social Distortion announced their return to the stage following frontman Mike Ness' battle with cancer. Having enduring treatment and recovery, the iconic vocalist and architect of Social Distortion has confirmed he is ready to get back in the saddle and ride out, this time with fellow legends Bad Religion. 

The tandem confirmed the news of a major, North American co-headlining tour - only the second co-headliner Social Distortion has ever done in their history. The extensive trek will span through April and well into May and will mark the 40th anniversary of the seminal album, Mommy's Little Monster, which Social Distortion will perform in full each night of the run. 

Guesting on Los Angeles' 95.5 show New & Approved, Ness sat opposite Matt Pinfield for a rare, comprehensive discussion about his lengthy health ordeal and the kind of gratitude he has in being able to come out on the other side. The songwriter shared that his diagnosis happened right as the band was prepping new music, halting all the work the band had done up until that point. 

Ness elaborated on the course of treatment and how his recovery meant having to learn how to speak and even swallow again - framing just how significant the setback was for the iconic singer. He shared how the experience ultimately impacted his perspective as a songwriter, redefined some of his existing songs and how it also strengthened his resolve to get back to doing what he loves. 

The discussion touched on the magnitude and the continued influence of Mommy's Little Monster some four decades on, with Ness recalling what those early days were like - partying all the while creating a new sound. The conversation touched on the band's enduring relevance and influence in punk and how the future seems brighter than ever with a big 2024 in the works. 

Check the full interview here. The complete list of dates and cities for the Social Distorton/Bad Religion co-headliner can be found below. Get tickets - HERE

W/ Bad Religion 
April 9 – Bakersfield, CA – Mechanics Bank Theater 
April 10 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl 
April 11 – San Diego, CA – PETCO Park 
April 13 – Las Vegas, NV – Virgin Hotels Las Vegas - The Theater 
April 14 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheater 
April 16 – Lubbock, TX – Lonestar Amphitheater 
April 18 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory 
April 19 – San Antonio, TX – Boeing Center at Tech Port 
April 20 – Austin, TX – Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Greenway 
April 22 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center 
April 23 – New Orleans, LA – The Filmore Harrah’s New Orleans 
April 26 – St. Augustine, FL – The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre 
April 27 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live 
April 28 – Clearwater, FL – Coachman Park - The Sound 
April 30 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre 
May 1 – North Charleston, SC – Firefly Distillery Lawn 
May 3 – Oxon Hill, MD – The Theater at MGM National Harbor 
May 4 – New York, NY – Pier 17 The Rooftop 
May 5 – Philadelphia, PA – The Filmore Philadelphia 
May 7 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway 
May 10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE 
May 11 – Detroit, MI – The Masonic Temple Theatre 
May 12 – Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center 
May 14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club - Eagles Ballroom 
May 15 – West Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom 
May 17 – Indianapolis, IN – Everwise Amphitheater 
May 18 – Chicago, IL – Salt Shed - Indoors 
May 19 – Columbus, OH – Historic Crew Stadium 
w/ The Bellrays 
Sept. 13 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 
Sept. 14 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 
Sept. 15 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 
Sept. 18 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom 
Sept. 19 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom 
Sept. 21 – Edmonton, AB – Midway Music Hall 
Sept. 22 – Edmonton, AB – Midway Music Hall 
Sept. 23 – Calgary, AB – Macewan Hall 
Sept. 25 – Winnipeg, MB – Buron Cummings Theatre 
Oct. 1 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 
Oct. 2 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 
Oct. 4 – Guelph, ON – Guelph Concert Theatre 
Oct. 5 – Toronto, ON – History 
Oct. 6 – Montreal, QC – M Telus 
Oct. 8 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall 
Oct. 9 – Hampton Beach, NH – Casino Ballroom 
Oct. 11 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount 
Oct. 12 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater 
Oct. 13 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom 
Oct. 15 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva 
Oct. 16 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte 
Oct. 17 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz 
Oct. 19 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall 
Oct. 20 – Tulsa, OK – Cain's Ballroom 
Oct. 22 – Albuquerque, NM – Rio Rancho Event Center 
Oct. 23 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre 
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